The Xbox One's price has been cut by $150 since its launch in November 2013. Sony, however, has kept the same price for the PS4. PlayStation UK boss Fergal Gara explained why in a new interview.
"Any price war in any sector in any market can be dangerous,” Gara told MCV in a recent interview. "If there is a race to zero, who wins from that? We are proud that we managed to launch at a very competitive price, and demand has held up very strongly for PS4."
"Therefore, our RRP on day one is our RRP today. Yes, there are promotions that offer consumers better value from time-to-time, but it’s great that we managed to start at such a great price and it has held well."
Instead of lowering the price of the PS4 down from $400, Sony has been trying to make the console more enticing with other additions. For example, they offer The Last of Us: Remastered for free with the console. They're periodically adding newer games for free as well. Amazon customers were recently able to get Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Last of Us: Remastered for no additional charge when they purchased a PS4. Gamers will be able to buy the console and a copy of Batman: Arkham Knight for $400.
The Xbox One's received more discounts for a couple reasons. For starters, the console launched at the higher price point of $500. Microsoft dropped the price down to $400 to match the PS4 last summer by making the Kinect an optional accessory.
The second XB1 discount was intended to chip away at the PS4's sales lead. During the holiday season, Microsoft slashed the price of the Xbox One down to $350. They also offered free games with select bundles. While this was framed as a limited-time discount, Microsoft has kept it in effect through 2015.
These price cuts did seem to give the Xbox One a temporary boost. The XB1 beat the PS4 in sales for November and December, the first months they ever accomplished that feat. Their dominance hasn't been absolute, though. The PS4 topped sales charts in January, February and March this year. Xbox One did manage to win April but the back-and-forth makes it clear that something other than price is determining this competition.
The software libraries for each console are also a big factor. In the MCV interview, Gara said that Sony has a lot of releases up their sleeves for this holiday season.
"I won't go into any detail now,” adds Gara. "There is plenty for gamers to get excited about already, such as Tearaway for PS4 and No Man’s Sky. That's just the start of what is on the table right now. So I don’t have any concerns that we will have a lack of strong software for PS4 this peak."
Microsoft plans to release Rise of the Tomb Raider and Halo 5 this fall on Xbox One. It'll be interesting to see what Sony plans to match those releases with. I guess we'll find out at E3 next month.